Bernadine Desanges

Founder, Know Your Truths. Speak Your Truths., LLC

Bernadine Desanges is the founder and CEO of an evolving consulting company and brand: Know Your Truths. Speak Your Truths., LLC, a manager in the Office of Human Capital for the Boston Public School district, and inspired by the power of building community through storytelling, serves as a podcast host for The Urban Collective Show (a greater Boston based podcast dedicated to uplifting, empowering, and connecting the people). Understanding and empathizing with the challenges people face in life by living in silence and/or being silenced; Bernadine aims to inspire all to unapologetically identify, own, and communicate their personal narratives and life perspectives authentically, transparently, and vulnerably. Bernadine promotes introspection and collective responsibility when dismantling systemic and institutional racism by curating BRAVE spaces to engage in difficult dialogues through her delivery as a motivational speaker, blogger, spoken word artist, workshop facilitator and consultant. Check out Bernadine’s reflections of race and healing in the black community: Because He Did, I Can & I Do and A Message of Love to Black Women.

Discussion Content

“Still Separate, Still Unequal: Teaching about School Segregation and Educational Inequality” by Keith Meatto
New York Times

Brief Intro:

I never knew I was economically disadvantaged, more than my trauma, or lacked in cultural capital until I went to college. When I first learned I lived in a world where some students attended schools with smart boards, had opportunities to go abroad, and had catered school lunches before they were 18 years of age; while others attended schools that barely had running WiFi, commuted to suburban schools for an opportunity to have a “better” education, or face food scarcity daily; I blamed race first. When discussing racism and its implications however, we can’t just look at race; educational opportunity and economics are at the forefront of dismantling systems that divide, rather than unite. Every child deserves to live and be educated in an equitable world to become adults that no longer have to “demand” a seat at any table, struggle with impostor syndrome when invited to a table, or never be considered because racial systems and infrastructures prevented them from being equipped to be there. It’s time we stop avoiding racially charged conversations because “we don’t know how to do it.” It’s time we learn how and do, in efforts to truly stand against racism. 

Bernadine’s Discussion Questions (PDF for Print)

  1. At what point do education and equity fundamentally intersect with institutional and systemic racism?
  2. How have you advanced the agenda of dividing rather than unifying people in your personal, professional, and social communities?
  3. How can you empower children who are victims of racism to persist beyond racially and economically divided infrastructures to believe and achieve more, without implementing systems that treat them as criminals?
  4. How can you educate, empower, and encourage children and adults to identify racist infrastructures and systems to stand up against?
  5. Why do you believe equitable educational access and opportunity is still unattainable when racial segregation in public education has been illegal for 65 years?